Academic journal article Human Ecology

Fashion Forward: FSAD Hosts Innovator Helen Storey as First Designer-in-Residence

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Fashion Forward: FSAD Hosts Innovator Helen Storey as First Designer-in-Residence

Article excerpt

Groundbreaking British fashion designer Helen Storey visited Human Ecology for two weeks in September, hosted by the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD) as its first designer-in-residence.

While on campus, Storey interacted with FSAD students and faculty in classes, critiqued student work, and exhibited some of her own pieces at a show, "Feeling My Way," at the Jill Stuart Gallery. At a well-attended public lecture, "Inventing a Life: A Journey between Fashion and Science," Storey reflected on her career as a designer and artist.

Jintu Fan, professor and chair of FSAD, invited Storey to Cornell and says he considers her "an example of what an outstanding designer could be." The residency, he says, aims "to create an environment for the exchange of ideas that are forward-thinking and creative. That's why I thought of Helen Storey."

Denise Green '07, assistant professor of FSAD, worked with Storey to organize an exhibit of garments and films about the designer's career. "She's using new technologies and experimentation to create work right at the forefront of fashion and science," Green says. "It's conceptual and quite practical as well. Her design process involves thinking about the whole life cycle."

Sustainability and materials science--as well as such environmental and human challenges as climate change, migration, and scarcity of water--are among Storey's varied interests. A recent project, "Dress for Our Time," features data on human displacement projected onto a dress made from a United Nations refugee tent.

The exhibition included "dresses that dissolve and disappear, dresses that purify air, and the latest work with the United Nations and refugees in Jordan," says Storey. "I tried to pick projects and materials that span across time, the different eras from when I went into the fashion business to what I'm working on today. …

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